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Karnataka govt. teeters as 12 lawmakers resign

9 Cong., 3 JD(S) MLAs hand over letters to Speaker’s office

Jumping ship: JD(S) MLA A. H. Vishwanath and others talking to the media in Bengaluru on Saturday. K. Murali Kumar THE HINDU

In a day of dramatic developments that brought the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government in Karnataka to the brink of collapse, 12 MLAs of the ruling coalition submitted their resignations to the Assembly Speaker’s office on Saturday.

While Anand Singh (Congress) had resigned on Monday, 12 MLAs — three from the JD(S) and nine from the Congress — submitted their resignation letters on Saturday, taking the total to 13. The Speaker has said he will look into the resignations when he returns to his office on Tuesday.

It is being speculated that more resignations are in the offing next week. Late on Saturday, 10 of the MLAs who had resigned left for Mumbai after a meeting with Governor Vajubhai Vala at the Raj Bhavan.

The resignations come at a time when Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and State Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao are on private visits to the U.S. and the U.K. Both leaders are expected to return to Bengaluru on Sunday.

An experiment

If the resignations are accepted, the 13-month-old government would be reduced to a minority, ending an experiment that began after the 2018 Assembly elections to keep the BJP out of power.

At the end of Saturday, the coalition’s strength (if the resignations are accepted) stood at 105. This is inclusive of the Speaker, suspended Congress MLA Roshan Baig and two Independent MLAs who are Ministers.

The MLAs who resigned on Saturday are former JD(S) State president A. H. Vishwanath (Hunsur), K. Gopaliah (Mahalakshmi Layout) and Narayana Gowda (K.R. Pet), all JD(S).

Kejriwal launches project for CCTVs in all Delhi govt. schools

Cameras to be installed in over 1,000 schools by November

Arvind Kejriwal during the inauguration event at a school in Lajpat Nagar on Saturday. R.V. Moorthy

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday inaugurated a project for installation of CCTV cameras at all government schools in the Capital.

Terming the project a “historic milestone”, Mr. Kejriwal said over 1,000 government schools in the city will be equipped with CCTV cameras by November this year.

“It’s a historic milestone in school education in the country and the world as live feed from classrooms will be provided to parents on their mobile phones through an app,” Mr. Kejriwal said, adding that private schools have already been directed to instal CCTV cameras.

Under the project, two CCTV cameras will be installed in each classroom. Entire school premises, barring the washrooms, will be under 360-degree coverage of the cameras and their feed will be monitored from a control room.

Parents of students will be able to get live feed through the ‘DGS Live’ app, which can be downloaded from Google Play Store. The parents will be able to access live classroom feed after proper verification.

‘No privacy breach’

Dismissing concerns that the CCTV cameras would compromise privacy of the schoolchildren, the Chief Minister said that the initiative will help improve results of Delhi government schools next year. “There will be no privacy breach, children go to school for education, to learn discipline and become good citizens of the country... They do not go there for anything private,” he said, adding that the CCTVs will ensure children’s safety and instil discipline in them.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio, said that Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in Lajpat Nagar, where the project was launched, had become the country’s first government school to have CCTV camera coverage.

Sunny Deol’s poll spend over EC limits

BJP MP Sunny Deol’s 2019 Lok Sabha election-related expenditure has been found to be in excess of the statutory limit of ₹70 lakh.

Mr. Deol, the BJP MP from Gurdaspur in Punjab, has reportedly spent ₹78,51,592 — around ₹8.51 lakh above the limit.

Gurdaspur District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujjwal on Saturday told The Hindu, “With regard to Mr. Sunny Deol, the amount we have reconciled during a recent account reconciliation meeting was found to be in excess of ₹70 lakh. We compared the expenses of Mr. Deol with our ‘shadow registers’ and found there were some gaps.”

“We have sent a report to Punjab Chief Electoral Officer and it is for the higher authorities to take a further call,” said Mr. Ujwal. A copy of the report has been sent to the Election Commission of India, said Punjab’s Chief Electoral Officer S. Karuna Raju.

Soon, docs to prescribe only generics

Govt. considering amendments to Drugs and Cosmetics Rules

The Central government is considering amendments to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, to ensure that registered medical practitioners dispense only generic medicines.

The matter was recently brought before the Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

“A proposal was received by the CDSCO committee wherein the DCC was apprised that registered medical practitioners can supply different categories of medicines, including vaccines to their patients under the exemption provided, with certain conditions, under Schedule K of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945,” a senior health official said.

As of now, there are no specified types of medicines which can be supplied by doctors to their patients, the official added.

It is now proposed that registered medical practitioners shall supply generic medicines only, and physicians’ samples shall be supplied free of cost.

The Indian Medical Association said that it is planning to meet the drug control authorities on the issue later this month.

IMA welcomes move

A senior member of the association said, “While we welcome the move to ensure that generic medicines are supplied, the government also has to ensure easy availability, unclogged supply chain, and strict quality control of generic medicines.”

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